Distinct reaction pathways followed upon reduction of oxy-heme oxygenase and oxy-myoglobin as characterized by mössbauer spectroscopy

Ricardo Garcia-Serres, Roman M. Davydov, Toshitaka Matsui, Masao Ikeda-Saito*, Brian M. Hoffman, Boi Hanh Huynh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

54 Scopus citations


Activation of O2 by heme-containing monooxygenases generally commences with the common initial steps of reduction to the ferrous heme and binding of O2 followed by a one-electron reduction of the O 2-bound heme. Subsequent steps that generate reactive oxygen intermediates diverge and reflect the effects of protein control on the reaction pathway. In this study, Mössbauer and EPR spectroscopies were used to characterize the electronic states and reaction pathways of reactive oxygen intermediates generated by 77 K radiolytic cryoreduction and subsequent annealing of oxy-heme oxygenase (HO) and oxy-myoglobin (Mb). The results confirm that one-electron reduction of (FeII-O2)HO is accompanied by protonation of the bound O2 to generate a low-spin (Fe III-O2H-)HO that undergoes self-hydroxylation to form the α-mesohydroxyhemin-HO product. In contrast, one-electron reduction of (FeII-O2)Mb yields a low-spin (Fe III-O22-)Mb, Protonation of this intermediate generates (FeIII-O2H-)Mb, which then decays to a ferryl complex, (FeIV=O2-)Mb, that exhibits magnetic properties characteristic of the compound II species generated in the reactions of peroxide with heme peroxidases and with Mb. Generation of reactive high-valent states with ferryl species via hydroperoxo intermediates is believed to be the key oxygen-activation steps involved in the catalytic cycles of P450-type monooxygenases. The Mössbauer data presented here provide direct spectroscopic evidence supporting the idea that ferric-hydroperoxo hemes are indeed the precursors of the reactive ferryl intermediates. The fact that a ferryl intermediate does not accumulate in HO underscores the determining role played by protein structure in controlling the reactivity of reaction intermediates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1402-1412
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the American Chemical Society
Issue number5
StatePublished - Feb 7 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Catalysis
  • Colloid and Surface Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Distinct reaction pathways followed upon reduction of oxy-heme oxygenase and oxy-myoglobin as characterized by mössbauer spectroscopy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this